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doitforthegame
01-07-2005, 06:54 AM
Just heard that Breakers in Woburn, MA closed its doors after 10 years. Once upon a time it was a great spot to find some action. I had heard that Dave was thinking about closing in the summer but I was shocked to find that at the height of the "season" he closed.

Now, that brings me to my other point. I am out of the business now, I arrange lease financing for businesses (and mortgages too). I gravitate to the billiard business and make my prospecting calls to pool rooms, bars, equipment suppliers, table manufactures and the like. Let me tell you, it is by far the most obnoxious, rude, boorish group of people I have ever called. I don't know what it is, but the people in the business need a serious attitude adjustment.

Finally, my unscientific report on the billiard business is that if you are in the northeast, you are probably in trouble. Everywhere else seems to be doing well, with Fl, GA, SC etc doing very well. Almost every room I spoke to in New England, NY, PA say the same thing. Business is off....way off.

In my opinion, the reason for the imminent demise of pool in the northeast is as follows: 1. smoking bans 2. poker 3. over regulation by local government.

Breakers is the first of several rooms that will go out by the end of 2005. Sad.

catscradle
01-07-2005, 08:46 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote doitforthegame:</font><hr> Just heard that Breakers in Woburn, MA closed its doors after 10 years.
In my opinion, the reason for the imminent demise of pool in the northeast is as follows: 1. smoking bans 2. poker 3. over regulation by local government.

Breakers is the first of several rooms that will go out by the end of 2005. Sad. <hr /></blockquote>

In the case of Breakers, they were doing very well as a non-smoking room for a long time. I liked the place, but I often found the attitudes of the counter men kind of rude. They acted like they were doing you a favor to let you play or to get you a sandwich you were paying for.
BTW, I heard Mr. Billiards in Framingham was history too. I also think Renaissance in Quincy is in some trouble.
I think that anybody that thinks they're going to be successful aiming at the "player" segment in this area will not make it. I play at Maxamillians in Tyngsboro now due to a job move, they're doing great but they have a fairly young (sometimes aggravating) crowd; that's where the money is now. Incidentally, they solved the smoking ban in a unique way. They added a tobacco shop on site, separate from but accessible to the room. Evidently smoke shops are exempt from the law.
I also agree poker, specifically online poker creates a problem for pool. The gambler segment can now just sit in their home and play all day.
Over regulation by local governments has always been a problem so I don't see that as an explaination of the demise of rooms.
I really think the main problem is a lack of interest in recreational sports in general in the younger generation. Young people are used to going outside to smoke, that won't be a problem for them if an interest in pool can be sparked in them.
IMHO.

doitforthegame
01-07-2005, 09:47 AM
I think you are right on. The trouble with a place like Maxamillians is that it isn't a pool room. It's a nightclub that has pool table. You are right about the "weenies" that hang out that sort of place.

Your comments about the rudeness of the countermen are exactly right on. Take that attitude and multiply it by 10 and that's what it is like when I call to prospect. Rude, rude, rude.

Maybe the over regulation is a bit of a strech. You are probably right. I'm just still chaffing because my business was regulated (rules set down by appointees not elected to office: as opposed to legislated due to elected officials "voting" on behalf of the people.) out of existance.

Remember, you heard it here first...whatever the number of pool rooms that are in New England right now, count on that being reduced by 25% by the end of 2005.

Bob

Troy
01-07-2005, 10:43 AM
You can blame poker and/or regulations, but ---

California passed the first smoking ban in the country in 1994 and it was fully enacted in 1998. At first there was a slight down-turn in overall business, but that has since more than fully recovered as smokers are now accustomed to simply going outside.

Troy...~~~ A Pool Room Manager and a smoker
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote doitforthegame:</font><hr>In my opinion, the reason for the imminent demise of pool in the northeast is as follows: 1. smoking bans 2. poker 3. over regulation by local government.

<hr /></blockquote>

Popcorn
01-07-2005, 10:56 AM
I think that the problem is there is a finite value to the product you have to sell, table time. The cost of operating a room is just too high with rent and so on. Even if you own the building it is actually the same. If you are self occupying your own building then you are indirectly paying what ever rent you could rent the building for to another tenant. Why would I struggle running a pool room in my own building when I can just sit home and collect $6000. a month renting to a medical group who pay every month rain or shine. The pool room may just be a slowly disappearing entity and there is nothing you can do about it. Need too many square feet of space and a decent location while selling a fairly cheap product. Add to that you only have a few peak hours in a given day when you make any money at all to speak of. Even a place getting a high rate sees it diluted by all the hours of empty tables during the off hours. It may be a dyeing business and pool may begin to revert back to mostly the bars as it was in the early 80's. No ones fault, just a reality of the times.

catscradle
01-07-2005, 11:24 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Popcorn:</font><hr> ... pool may begin to revert back to mostly the bars ... <hr /></blockquote>

"Say it ain't so, Joe, say it ain't so!"

doitforthegame
01-07-2005, 11:42 AM
I knew there was a fourth point I wanted to make! Rents!
Actually with the high prices of buildings now, rent is totally out of sight here in NE. You are correct. When you add up the lost revenue from smoking (there isn't a polroom that I know of that won't admit to at least a 20% loss in revenue due to smoking.), loss of players/gameblers to poker...say 5%, and in increase in rents of say 10% over the past two years. Add it up, that is a 35% shift in the net of the business. I hate to have to agree, but pool, at least in the northeast, as we have known it is dead.

Bob

Deeman2
01-07-2005, 12:12 PM
In my opinion, the reason for the imminent demise of pool in the northeast is as follows: 1. smoking bans 2. poker 3. over regulation by local government.

<font color="blue"> Yes,

Many of you said you didn't want smokers and others didn't like the image gambling gave pool. Well, most have now moved to the bars as someone else mentioned. Almost none of the poolhalls cater to serious players anymore and you are right, they treat you like crap. There are some exceptions to this and most of us find them in time.

Unfortunately, as more and more pool moves to bars, it is becomeing the accpeted standard of the game in many places. I play most of my pool in the bars now but at least the people are friendly. </font color>

Deeman

Scott Lee
01-07-2005, 09:55 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Deeman2:</font><hr> <font color="blue"> I play most of my pool in the bars now but at least the people are friendly. </font color>

Deeman <hr /></blockquote>

Hey Dee...Do ya s'pose that's the liquor talkin'? LOL

Scott ~ Candy is dandy, but liquor is quicker!

BooBoo
01-08-2005, 08:06 AM
If the pool rooms are closing and it forces everyone into the bar table scene, does this mean playing on 4 1/2 x 9's is dying. The only poolroom in my town has 6 7 footers and only 2 9 footers. When he has a tournament no one shows. (it is also a non smoking room) But at all the weekly bar tournaments it's standing room only. I'm trying to look into the future and I don't like what I see.

NH_Steve
01-08-2005, 08:13 AM
That's a damn shame. Breakers was only about 60 miles from me, so I have played there many times. Dave is a very pleasant and class guy. A few years ago he added an icecream room in front, and it kind of has looked like that was doing better than the poolroom for a while. I remember commenting about six months ago that it was not a good sign that there were hardly any young people in the pool table area -- meaning teens or twenty-somethings, so I am not surprised.

That room has also been the home of former touring women's pro Nadine Borofsky (and excellent photographer of pool events!), and her husband Jerry (who I think may have been a women's tour director too -- maybe someone else can fill that info in) -- so that is another big loss to pool in this area unless they can catch on somewhere else.